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Border effects within the NAFTA countries

Author

Listed:
  • John H. Rogers
  • Hayden P. Smith

Abstract

Using consumer price indexes from cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, we estimate the "border effect" on U.S.-Mexican relative prices and find that it is nearly an order of magnitude larger than for U.S.-Canadian prices. However, during a very stable sub-period in Mexico (May 1988 to November 1994), the "width" of the U.S.-Mexican border falls dramatically and becomes approximately equal to the U.S.-Canadian border. We then show that when consideration is limited to cities lying geographically very close to the U.S.-Mexican border--San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Tijuana, Mexicali, Juarez, and Matamoros--the border width falls compared to that estimated with the full sample of U.S. and Mexican cities, but falls only very slightly. We also present evidence that the border effect in U.S.-Mexican prices is not primarily due to the border effect in U.S.-Mexican wages. Finally, using the prices of 276 highly dis-aggregated goods and services, we estimate the variability of relative prices of different items within Mexican cities. This measure of relative price variability declines during the stable peso sub-period, but by less than the decline in nominal and real (i.e., CPI-based) exchange rate variability. Our results are strong evidence of a "nominal border effect" in relative prices within NAFTA, but also indicate that real side influences are important.

Suggested Citation

  • John H. Rogers & Hayden P. Smith, 2001. "Border effects within the NAFTA countries," International Finance Discussion Papers 698, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:698
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Grafe, Clemens & Raiser, Martin & Sakatsume, Toshiaki, 2008. "Beyond borders--Reconsidering regional trade in Central Asia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 453-466, September.
    2. Charles Engel, 2001. "Optimal exchange rate policy: the influence of price setting and asset markets," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 518-547.
    3. Wimanda, Rizki E., 2009. "Price variability and price convergence: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 427-442, September.

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    Keywords

    North American Free Trade Agreement ; Trade ; Prices;

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